Seizure of abandoned real property by municipality is not an unconstitutional taking of property

The Iowa Supreme Court held that the Constitution does not require just compensation when it seizes abandoned property pursuant to a statute giving the city title to such property. City of Eagle Grove v. Cahalan Investments, LLC, 904 N.W.2d 552 (Iowa 2017). Such property is deemed a nuisance and no owner owns the right to commit a nuisance. The court explained that the state has the "power to condition the permanent retention of…property rights on the performance of reasonable conditions that indicate a present intention to retain the interests." In this case, by "allowing the properties to persist in a condition unfit for human habitation, allowing the premises to remain vacant, and failing to make timely and reasonable efforts to remedy the public nuisances created by the properties after notification of the problems," the owner failed to comply with reasonable conditions established by law to retain his ownership interest. Because he did not own the right to own the property free of those reasonable regulations, the seizure of the property by the city did not violate his property rights and no taking of property occurred.

See also: Nuisance, Takings